Nissan’s ‘revolutionary’ mobility plan aims to ‘remove any barrier’ for EV uptake

New LEAF and van models, a rollout on new public charging infrastructure and an innovative commitment to give users free access to flexible electricity sourcing were all announced as pillars in Nissan's "revolutionary mobility energy plan" to "remove any barrier" from electric vehicle use.

Nissan wants to give its customers free power to charge electric vehicles (EVs), charging a fee for the installation of a Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) charger which enables users to draw or send electricity to and from the grid for no cost.

The car makers “bold vision” is the result of a year-long trial in Denmark that uses bi-directional charging to draw energy from the grid to charge a car or van or sell surplus energy back to the grid to be used by others. Nissan revealed that businesses or consumers that pay the installation fees for a V2G concept will pay no extra fees for use.

Nissan Europe’s chairman Paul Willcox said: “This is a very important day for us, the day that we share our vision of the future. How we are going beyond the car, and how we plug in and impact the world around us. We’re ahead of the rest of the industry by at least a decade. It will be a decade of disruption for the industry unlike any other, where those who embrace the challenge of change will come out winning.

“We’re launching a visionary new way of driving for our customers day in day out without extra costs. You can buy a Nissan EV, install the right piece of kit, with no energy costs, just free power for the EV. Using unique tech called bi-directional charging, our customers can draw energy from the car and send it back. We’ve created a way for users to give energy back and get money to do so. You can power your EVs cost neutral at no extra charge.”

As part of its Nissan Futures event in Oslo on Monday (2 October), the Japanese carmaker revealed that it was expanding its existing electric vehicle (EV) charging network in Europe by 20% over the next 18 months. Nissan will support the installation of a further 1,000 chargers over the time period.

Nissan also revealed that home owners can purchase a “double speed” 7kW home charger, which can charge a vehicle 100% in 5.5 hours – a 70% reduction in charging times from previous versions. A new charger has also been designed for business use. The Nissan 22kW charges is capable of charging an EV in two hours.

Domestic breakthroughs

In what was a busy announcement event, Nissan also showcased the successor of its xStorage home energy system, which was designed in collaboration with Eaton. The new system allows EV owners to plug vehicles directly into a wall box charger and can interact with renewable electricity generated from any solar panels on the house.

This system will be driven to the UK market through a collaboration with OVO, which will offer discounted prices for the xStorage system and enable sellback to the grid. According to OVO, management systems of this type have already enabled select households to save 81% on energy costs – excluding any revenues made from solar generation.

OVO’s chief executive Steve Fitzpatrick added: “This is a first of its kind in the UK, where an energy retail company will pay domestic energy battery owners to use and manage the batteries. We’ll manage it on their behalf and the customers gets a dramatically reduced electricity bill.”

The use of Nissan’s xStorage system has already been utilised to great effect in Europe. The 57,000-seater stadium Amsterdam ArenA recently used 280 Nissan LEAF batteries for an integrated energy storage system that connects with the stadium’s 4,200 solar panels.

Leafs and vans

Finally, Nissan unveiled the European premiere of the new LEAF EV, which is capable of travelling 235 miles on a single charge and comes fitted with ProPILOT advanced driver assistance system and autonomous parking technology. The new LEAF is also equipped with Nissan’s e-Pedal braking technology.

The Nissan Futures event also highlighted a new longer range 100% electric van – the e-NV200 – with a driving range of 174 miles, a 60% improvement on previous versions.

The van was primarily rolled out for business use. Willcox claimed that an “Amazon effect” of increased deliveries had facilitated more demand for van deliveries, which have grown 12% since 2000 compared to the 4% growth in car use.

“It’s the perfect urban mobility vehicle to reduce emissions across every European city,” Nissan’s EV director Gareth Dunsmore said. “Significant investments like this will help support our businesses to significantly reduce the emissions of their delivery services.

“It’s plug and play and allows you to put it into your business without digging up the road outside, it allows you to move to EVs in an easier way than before.”

Nissan notes that it can help make 100% electric last miles delivery achievable for businesses and professional drivers.

Matt Mace

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